Stand out from the competition with branding that attracts and retains your customers
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A recognisable and loved brand is one of the most valuable assets a company owns. It is therefore important to establish a brand that your audience can connect with to build a loyal base and ensure business growth.
But before we get stuck into the nitty gritty, let’s start by defining what a brand actually is…
What is a brand?
According to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Put simply, it’s the customer’s overall perception of your business.
A strong brand can create a sense of familiarity, reliability, and quality among customers, and can help a company to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Do I need a brand?
Branding is important as it differentiates you from your competitors and builds customer loyalty and trust. More than just a logo, your brand gives your business personality.
With the rise of social media, consumers are exposed to new businesses everyday so it can be hard to stand out in a saturated market.
Good branding allows you to create an identity that will grab (and keep!) people’s attention.
Here are some other reasons why branding is so important:
Recognition – Strong branding will help your business be recognised more often. Without cohesive branding, you are far more likely to be forgotten in the crowd.
Trust – Brands with clear, professional branding gain the trust of the consumer. It indicates that the company is established and credible and shows time and effort has been invested into the business.
Loyalty – You want to attract customers that are going to return to your business. With good branding, you can create a more human side to your company which your customers can relate to and feel a connection with.
Advertising – Branding and advertising go hand in hand. Incorporating branding into your advertising will increase recognition of your business and help to create effective campaigns.
Motivation – Branding provides value inside of your company by making your employees feel involved in something that’s more than just a job. Having a brand can create a sense of unity and solidarity.
How to build your brand: 7 simple steps
- Find your why – All successful businesses have a purpose behind them, and you should start by finding yours. Leadership expert Simon Sinek developed a useful model known as The Golden Circle which consists of three parts:
WHY? Why does your business exist and why are you passionate about it?
HOW? How are you different from the competition?
WHAT? What products or services do you offer?
This model was popularised during Sinek’s 2006 TED Talk which we would urge you to watch if you’re wanting to develop your branding. During this presentation, Sinek explains how to differentiate your brand:
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. The goal is not to do business with everybody that needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”Simon Sinek
Once you have a brand vision and mission, you can sculpt your logo, tagline, and message around it. A good working example of a company that’s done just that is the Dollar Shave Club.
Dollar Shave Club are a business with a focus on affordability and convenience. Before they entered the market, Gillette was the top dog in the industry. However, Dollar Shave Club took a very different stance to their competitor, going with a cheeky and casual marketing style which was a far cry from the masculine, professional tone of Gillette. Their tagline, “Shave Time. Shave Money.” is a perfect summation of their primary benefits, ease of access and low cost. Rather than featuring high-profile actors and celebrities in their ads, they opt for average looking people across a wide age range who are more relatable to consumers. Their branding is so effective, they went on to steal over 50% of the online men’s razor market and were bought out by Unilever for a whopping $1 billion! Cha-ching!
- Identify your target audience – When you have a focused audience it becomes easier to hone and deliver your brand message. For example, if your target market is “all mums”, you could narrow this down to “working mums with children of school age”. Having a clear picture of your consumer, allows you to develop a brand that they can understand and relate to.
- Conduct research – Get to know your target audience, their preferences and research competitor brands in your industry. This can help you to create messaging and branding that resonates with the consumer. Whilst you don’t want to replicate what your competition is doing, it is useful to see what they do well (and what they don’t!) so you can set yourself apart. Understanding your target audience also enables you to choose the right channels and tactics to reach them.
- Find your voice – Once you have a good understanding of your industry, the consumer, and your brand mission, you can determine the tone and messaging that will be used across all your communication channels. This could be professional, friendly, conversational, and so on. Ultimately, you want to choose a brand voice that will resonate with your customers.
One unique example we love is the men’s deodorant company, Old Spice, who adapt a tone which often exaggerates masculinity for comical effect. Check out their video advert to see what we mean:
If you didn’t spot it, Old Spice have captioned this YouTube clip with the following description, “We’re not saying this body wash will make your man smell like a romantic millionaire jet fighter pilot, but we are insinuating it.” This encapsulates their brand voice perfectly.
- Create your visual identity – One of the most exciting parts of creating your business can be developing a visual strategy which includes choosing a colour palette, logo, typography, tagline and more. All these design elements should reflect your brand’s personality and resonate with your target audience.
- Engage your audience – It is vital to build a relationship with your target audience through interaction on social media and other channels. This will encourage them to engage with your brand and sing your praises to other potential customers. You could share behind the scenes content, use posts which are more conversational in their tone (using “I” and “you” for example), or describe your product/services in a unique or quirky way. Being consistent with your brand voice and personality is important to deliver the right message.
- Evaluate and refine – You should continuously monitor your brand’s performance so that you can adjust as necessary to ensure you remain relevant and continue to resonate with your target audience. Again, looking at your competitors and what they’re doing will help you to stay ahead of the game.
How can Bright Sprout help?
Now that you’ve read this handy guide, you may want some help to establish or tweak your brand, and that’s where we can help! Bright Sprout have over a decade’s worth of experience working with businesses across all industries and sectors, helping them engage with their target customers and build a strong brand identity.
See what branding services we can offer.
Give us a call on 07518 716890 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch shortly.